Feeds

NetApp pushes FlexPods at data centres

Product partnership to hit data centres' sweet spots

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

In a we-can-do-it-too move, NetApp is partnering with Cisco and VMware to produce FlexPod for VMware, an integrated server-network-storage offering for data centres moving cloudwards.

The FlexPod is a "pre-sized, validated, unified and standardised data centre architecture design available through selected channel partners". It is targeted at applications requiring 1,000 to 2,000 users to be supported from a virtualised server, with the sweet spot being 1,500 users. The components are Cisco UCS servers with VMware's vSphere and vCenter, Cisco Nexus 5000 switches plus NetApp FAS3200 storage arrays.

The hardware layers can be scaled independently and NetApp says there is a mutual and open partner ecosystem with a collaborative support model. The throat you choke is the supplier you call first, as that business assumes responsibility for the whole system.

How does the FlexPod compare to the vBlock from the VCE (VMware, Cisco and EMC) coalition?

NetApp's EMA solutions marketing manager John Rollason said: "There are similarities in the problem we’re trying to solve, but we feel there are many advantages in the FlexPod approach. [It] offers customers unique benefits and capabilities, including secure multi-tenancy, unified server, network and storage (not three different storage architectures), granular scalability, and an open management architecture ... It provides a more precise solution to specific workload needs: ie more dynamic, less static. FlexPod can be configured with existing infrastructure in the customer’s environment so customers can protect their investment in existing technology."

He also said NetApp storage is more efficient than the vBlock's EMC storage.

Bob Stemmerik, Cisco's Head of Data Centre/Virtualisation, Europe North, said: "This FlexPod delivers the same cloud capabilities (as the vBlock), sometimes better. Technology is important but not the end. We have a BMW, an Audi or a Mercedes, but who makes a better car? The value these (vBlocks and FlexPods) bring are very similar and I wouldn't like to contrast them ... We have selected best of breed partners."

It is a coup for NetApp to be regarded as a viable partner in building integrated IT stacks for cloud data centres by Cisco and also by VMware. Both recognise that EMC is not the be-all and end-all in storage.

What about a single management facility for FlexPod?

Rollason said: "VMware's vCenter provides a single management interface. Both NetApp and Cisco provide management plugins for this. We also have joint integration with BMC, CA, etc for broader management. This has the advantage that these tools are not specific to the FlexPod; they can be employed enterprise-wide, unlike competitors' offerings which are largely tied to their stack."

There was no mention of a single and integrated firmware update offering for the FlexPod, and there is no Acadia-like implementation agency.

It is likely, in this writer's opinion, that we will see other FlexPods, such as a FlexPod for Hyper-V. NetApp wouldn't comment on that. Andreas Konig, NetApp's EMEA general manager, said: "We have a very good relationship with Microsoft - but I'm not knowledgeable on what we're doing in the future. All the partners involved would need to work together and agree." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.